Business & Tech


Moderna to provide 80 million doses of would-be vaccine to EU


to provide
80 million doses of would-be vaccine to EU

Moderna Inc. said it plans to provide 80 million doses of its experimental coronavirus shot to the European Union following a string of supply deals between vaccine developers and governments. The Cambridge biotech company has finished talks with the European Commission over a potential agreement, which includes an option for EU member states to purchase an additional 80 million doses, according to a statement Monday. The European Union, the United States, and the UK have led the way in snapping up doses of potential COVID immunizations in advance of knowing which vaccines will work and get across the finish line. The need for a vaccine is rising with the number of global coronavirus deaths surpassing 800,000. Moderna’s final-stage study began on July 27 and enrollment of about 30,000 subjects is on track to be completed in September ,it said. The company is scaling up global manufacturing to be able to deliver about 500 million doses and possibly as many as 1 billion doses per year, beginning in 2021. The commission previously announced preliminary plans to secure hundreds of millions of doses of vaccines being developedby the likes of Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca with the University of Oxford, Sanofi and partner GlaxoSmithKline, as well as CureVac NV. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Dow kicks out Exxon, Pfizer, Raytheon in biggest shake-up since 2013

Exxon Mobil Corp, Pfizer Inc., and Raytheon Technologies Corp. were kicked out of the Dow Jones Industrial Average as part of the stock benchmark’s biggest reshuffling in seven years, actions that will boost the influence of technology companies that have dominated the 2020 stock market., Amgen Inc., and Honeywell International will enter the 124-year old equity gauge a week from today, its overseers said. The moves were prompted when Apple Inc.’s stock split effectively reduced the sway of computer and softward stocks in the price-weighted average. While any change to the Dow is notable, the ejection of Exxon Mobil — the world’s biggest company as recently as 2011 — marks a particularly stunning fall from grace, reflecting the decline of commodity companies in the American economy. Worth $525 billion in 2007 and more than $450 billion as recently 2014, the stock had fallen in four of six years before 2020 and is down another 40 percent since January. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Audible launching cheaper service

Audible is rolling out a cheaper version of its popular audiobook service that includes original series fromHollywood talent, part of a drive to go beyond books and win over podcast listeners. Audible Plus will cost $7.95 a month, about half the price of the main plan, and include more than 11,000 titles spanning audiobooks, original series, and podcasts, the company said Monday. The upcoming slate of new programs includes projects from musicians Common and St. Vincent, as well as actors Jesse Eisenberg and Kate Mara. The catalog was made available to existing Audible users Monday, and the new plan will go on sale later this week. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Two R.I. casinos laid off more than 1,300 workers this month


Rhode Island’s two casinos laid off more than 1,300 workers combined earlier this month, according to documents filed with state labor officials. More than 1,000 workers at Twin River Casino Hotel in Lincoln and nearly 300 at Tiverton Casino Hotel lost their jobs, Twin River Worldwide Holdings reported to the state Department of Labor and Training, The Providence Journal reported on Sunday. The layoffs became effective Aug. 11, the same day Twin River reported a $24 million second-quarter loss based in part on casinos being temporarily shut down during the coronavirus pandemic. Workers were furloughed during that period. Rhode Island’s casinos have since reopened. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


Fiat Chrysler recalling almost 132,000 vehicles for diesel problem

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Fiat Chrysler is recalling nearly 132,000 vehicles worldwide to fix a problem that could cause some diesel engines to stall. The recall covers certain 2014 through 2018 Ram 1500 pickups, and some 2014 through 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs with 3-liter diesel engines. Also included are certain 2014 through 2019 Chrysler 300 sedans outside North America with the same engines. The company says magnetic material on a crankshaft position sensor wheel can come off over time, cutting off a signal and causing the engines to stall. Fiat Chrysler says it has no reports of crashes or injuries. It says the problem only happens on a small percentage of the vehicles. Dealers will update software so the engines keep working even if the crankshaft position signal is lost. Fiat Chrysler says in US government documents posted last weekend that the recall is expected to start Oct. 2. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


Taiwan orders Alibaba to sell stake in local
e-commerce platform

Taiwan ordered China’s Alibaba Group on Monday to dispose of its stake in a local e-commerce platform, Taobao Taiwan, citing a risk that users’ personal information might be transferred to the mainland. The order adds to mounting pressure on Chinese companies in the United States and other countries over security concerns. Taiwan and China split in 1949 during a civil war. They have no official relations but have thriving trade and investment ties. Taiwan closely watches those links to try to avoid being dominated by its giant neighbor, which has threatened to invade the island. Taobao Taiwan is operated by a British company, but Alibaba Group’s stake in that company allows it to control the consumer-to-consumer platform in violation of Taiwanese rules, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


Takeda to sell Japanese subsidiary to Blackstone

Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. is selling its subsidiary in Japan focused on consumer health care to US investment fund Blackstone Group. The deal, announced Monday by the Japanese drugs manufacturer, is valued at 242 billion yen ($2.3 billion), although the exacts ales price will be determined later, after adjustments for debt and capital of the subsidiary, Takeda Consumer HealthcareCo. The deal will likely be completed by March 2021, according to Tokyo-based Takeda. Takeda said it wants to focus on specialized areas, such as disorders of the digestive system, rare diseases, plasma-derived therapies, and the prevention and treatment of cancer, rather than the increasingly competitive consumer sector. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


Norwegian pension fund to divest from Exxon, Chevron

A Norwegian pension fund said Monday that it is divesting over $47 million from 27 companies, including Exxon and Chevron, as part of its commitment to combating climate change. The fund warned other major oil and gas companies it mightdrop them as well. Storebrand, which manages assets worth $91 billion, had over $12 million invested in Exxon and more than $10 million in Chevron. It said it is also selling its stocks in UK-based mining company Rio Tinto and German chemicals maker BASF. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


Startup backed by Thiel merging, going public


Driverless car startup Luminar Technologies Inc., backed by tech billionaire Peter Thiel, is going public via a $3.4 billion merger with blank-check company Gores Metropoulos Inc., bolstering efforts to get its laser sensors onto the production linesof global automakers. The deal will be paid for with $400 million in cash from the blank-check company, as well as $170 million from other investors including Thiel, a unit of Volvo Car, and GoPro founder Nick Woodman, according to a statement on Monday.


Boeing borrows from space vehicles, drones to fix troubled 737 Max

Boeing is preparing to bolster the long-term safety of its troubled 737 Max with technology borrowed from space vehicles and urban drones that can provide data to help back up its sensors. The system — known as synthetic air data — takes existing information on the aircraft, runs it through a computer program and produces readings that mimic what costly additional sensors provide. Added as a result of pressure from overseas regulators, it would reduce the risk of accidents such as those on the Max. But it would also address a wide range of deadly air crashes triggered by confusing cockpit readings, according to engineers andacademic research. It’s already proved its value on Boeing’s 787, and Airbus is adopting similar techniques in its aircraft. — BLOOMBERG NEWS